GH¢173bn Debt: Ignore Minority’s false projections – Govt

BY: Graphic.com.gh

The government has dismissed claims by the Minority in Parliament that Ghana’s public debt will hit GH¢173billion by the end of December 2018, moving the country’s debt to GDP ratio well beyond the 70 percent HIPC threshold.

Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, a deputy Minister of Information responding to the Minority's claim said it should dis-regarded.

According to the Minority, Ghana’s public debt had ballooned to GH¢154billion from GH¢122billion in January, 2017 –excluding the Energy bond of GH¢4.7billion.

Related: Govt urged not to increase taxes as it will worsen plight of people

Speaking Monday at a roundtable breakfast dialogue organized by the Minority Caucus, the ranking member on the Finance Committee and Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Mr Cassiel Ato Forson said “amidst deliberate misrepresentation of the facts about our debt position, its computation and rationale for borrowing, they also claimed to possess the magic to mobilize domestic resources to finance their campaign promises. They dismissed borrowing as “a lazy approach” to economic management and promised a different paradigm.”

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“Contrary to these claims, our public debt has ballooned to GH¢ 154 billion (excluding the Energy Bond of GHC 4.7 Billion) as of May, 2018 from GH¢ 122 billion in January, 2017,” he stated noting “it is expected to increase further by GH¢3.8 billion – (1.7 billion + 1.4 billion + 0.7 billion)–should the financing plan specified above, i.e. selling state assets, prepayment of license fees, and monetization of mineral royalties, fail to materialize.”

The Minority also claimed that a raft of tax increases will be introduced by the government in the mid-year budget review to be presented to Parliament on Thursday by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.

But reacting in a radio interview with Accra based Starr FM, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah dismissed the claims of the Minority claiming that Ghanaians must not pay heed to the projections of the opposition.

According to Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, government is only seeking to widen the tax net and include other working Ghanaians who are not contributing their quota to the nation.

He added that the minority made similar projections last year which turned out to be false and urged Ghanaians to be patient and wait for the Finance Minister’s presentation on Thursday.